Pest Guides

How To Keep Animals Out of Container Garden

Container Garden

Having unwanted animals around container gardens is a frustrating experience that every gardener tries to avoid. That’s why learning how to keep animals out of container gardens is important.

In the United States, for instance, pests have gained the upper hand in most gardens since container gardeners’ numbers skyrocketed between 2010 and 2019, reaching around 21 million in the last report.

Because animals depend on food for survival, it is not surprising to realize that gardens that provide food are equally important to some animals, just like humans.

Therefore, your garden may be a great source of food and pleasure for you, but some pests depend on it for survival. These pests, in turn, may cause harm to you and your garden if not controlled properly.

This article will enlighten you on how to keep animals out of container gardens.


Almost all gardeners have animal problems and want to know how to keep animals out of their container gardens. The question arises because they eat almost everything, from vegetables to fruits, and leave their feces everywhere, making it unpleasant for humans.

There are various methods to prevent animals from entering a container garden. Let us look at seven effective ways to keep them out:

  1. Cats can help keep small animals away.
  2. Apply sprays around your garden.
  3. Move your plants.
  4. Make a fence around your garden.
  5. Scare the animals away.
  6. Give up some plants in lieu of the actual garden plants.
  7. Consult a professional nursery worker for plant ideas.

If you read this post and implement each of the seven tips, we guarantee that animals will never come near your container garden again.

This article will reveal the top seven proven and effective methods you need to know about to keep animals away from your container garden easily. So, without further ado, let’s get started!

7 Ways To Keep Animals Out of Container Garden

With the help of expert reviews, research, and analysis, we’ll talk about the seven best ways to keep animals out of your container garden. Of course, any gardener should be able to use these methods, so read on, put them into practice, and watch the magic unfold!

1. Cats Can Help Keep Small Animals Away

Cat In The Garden

Everyone knows you are saying no to rats once you welcome a cat! But beyond the home, a cat can be a good agent for driving rodents away from a garden.

Many people don’t understand the role of cats in hunting small animals.

However, it is widely known that cats kill rats. At the same time, they are just as good at hunting chipmunks, lizards, birds, and small snakes, among other small animals. A 2013 report, for instance, shows that cats kill about 3.7 million birds annually.

Having some cats in the garden, which can also give you company, is effective in keeping small animals away.

2. Apply Sprays Around Your Garden

Castor Oil

Do you know that some odors are repulsive to some animals? This section lists some real-time odors that can help drive certain animals away from the garden.

It is proven that voles, skunks, rats, rabbits, and groundhogs, among other digging and burrowing animals, dislike the smell of spearmint, peppermint, and castor oils.

That being said, all you need is dish soap, any essential oil of your choice, a spray bottle, and water. Then, mix one tablespoon of dish soap, three tablespoons of your chosen essential oil, and a gallon of water. This will serve as a good homemade burrowing pest repellent.

In addition, insects and some other garden pests don’t like the smell or taste of mint and vinegar. Planting it in the garden (maybe as a fence) can keep them from eating the plants in the container garden.

3. Move Your Plants

Hanging Pots Of Plants

One of the most valuable advantages of practicing container gardening is its mobility. It is time to make the most of this opportunity when unwanted animals constantly affect your garden.

So moving your plants simply means keeping your garden out of reach of these pests. More than any other idea, this is best suited for a container garden.

4. Make a Fence Around Your Garden

Garden With Fence

Another thing you can do to keep certain animals away from your container garden is to fence the area where the plant containers are located.

To know how tall your fence should be and its supposed length under the ground, gardeners must first know which animal(s) they want to keep away from the garden.

Rabbits, for instance, may attempt to dig and reach your garden from under the fence unless it is at least a foot deep on the ground.

5. Scare the Animals Away


There are several ways to scare animals away from your container garden, all of which are categorized as either auditory or visual scare devices.

One of the least expensive techniques is using humanoid scarecrows (the decoration of standing, cross-shaped wood or metal in pieces of clothing) in the garden. This is a visual device. This method makes the animals go away as they get scared and believe they are not safe, so it works like magic.

However, it loses its effectiveness over time, which is a drawback, since the animals soon get used to that object-like human in the garden.

On the other hand, noisemakers and ultrasonic repellers, as examples of auditory scare devices, can be equally effective.

6. Give Up Some Plants in Lieu of the Actual Garden Plants

Jute Leaves

This option may appear quite paradoxical. But here is the deal: an attack is the best defense strategy; however, we sometimes have to do things that seem the opposite to achieve the desired goal.

For instance, when farmers want tomatoes, they grow jute leaves in the garden.

The jute leaves can be planted reasonably far from the tomatoes, so the likelihood of unwanted animals staying away from your container garden increases with the inclusion of other methods.

And guess what? This may be substituted for not being too tidy in the garden, especially when it’s not a container garden, as animals may spend more time with the unwanted plants in your garden.

7. Consult a Professional Nurseryman for Plant Ideas

Professional Gardener

The local nurseryman in your area can be in the best position to help you keep animals out of your container garden.

Nurserymen will give you an idea of what plants are better to grow in your container garden, understanding that some plants are more appealing to those animals than others.

Restriction on what can be grown is the only apparent disadvantage of this method. In this case, you can seek advice on how to stop specific animals from disturbing your garden.

Some planters may have unique perspectives based on their varied experiences that can benefit you.

Pros and Cons of Container Gardening

Container Gardening At The Rooftop

It is essential that you have a solid understanding of the benefits of container gardening over typical in-ground gardening. Therefore, without further ado, let’s discuss the benefits and drawbacks of container gardening.

  • You can use the soil you need for each plant in a container garden.
  • Weeds are rarely a problem in pot or container gardens.
  • Being able to plant just about anywhere is another big merit.
  • Heavy garden tools are not needed in container gardening.
  • Above all, the ease with which a container gardener can control the weather for the plants and avoid unwanted animals from the garden due to its mobile nature is an incredible benefit.

They all sound good, but there is always a disadvantage.


Regarding container gardening, the size of the containers can limit what kinds, sizes, or numbers of plants you can grow. Therefore, larger containers are often more advantageous than smaller ones.


In addition to all that has been said earlier, knowing what animal is the culprit affecting your container garden is essential.

This is just as crucial as other points on our list, as it helps you get more specific solutions—the kind of animal you want to keep away determines the height of your fence.

Some gardeners, for instance, believe that scarecrows work better in keeping birds away from gardens. This means cats can be of great use when rats, for instance, affect your garden.

Know for yourself which animals you want to keep away from your garden before proceeding with the other steps on our list, and check out our other ways to keep all kinds of unwanted animals away.

Frequently Asked Questions

How To Keep Animals Out of Container Gardens Without a Fence?

Making a fence around the garden can indeed be helpful, but in case you are not able to put this up, several other available options include:

  • Discouraging animals from your garden with odors that are unpleasant to them
  • Using ultrasonic repellers
  • Changing the spot where the garden is located
  • Using scarecrows
  • Visiting an expert in the field for more specific techniques

What Do You Put in a Garden To Keep the Animals Out?

We recommend you use smell repellents, such as garlic clips, castor oil, and predator urine. All of these may be excellent temporary treatments. They must be checked and reapplied to maintain their effectiveness.

How Do I Protect My Container Garden?

There are many different options, but we recommend burlap, bubble wrap, old blankets, or geotextile blankets to cover the pots. Because the roots are the part of the plant that needs protection, it is not required to cover the whole plant. These protective covers will assist in the retention of heat in the root zone by helping to trap heat.

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